Record Details

NHER Number:38967
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two searchlight

Summary

A World War Two searchlight battery was located near the cliffs at Sidestrand and is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1940. The site consists of a searchlight emplacement, several gun emplacements, possible spigot mortar emplacements and a hut, which may have housed the site generator. This defensive site has been completely dismantled by 1941 and a second area of coastal defences created to the immediate north (NHER 39868). Other cliff top defences are located to the east (NHER 35810, 38972, 38979).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 25520 40315
Map Sheet:TG24SE
Parish:SIDESTRAND, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two searchlight battery is located near the cliffs at Sidestrand and is visible on aerial photographs in 1940 (S1-3). The site is centred on TG 2552 4031 and consists of a searchlight emplacement and several gun emplacements and possible spigot mortar emplacements and a hut. The site appears to be under possible modification or decommissioning in-between August and September 1940 (S1-3), as components are still being removed from the site. By August 1941 (S4) this site has been completely dismantled and a second area of coastal defences had been created to the immediate north (NHER 39868). Other cliff top defences are located to the east (NHER 35810, 38972, 38979).

The searchlight emplacement is centred on TG 2551 4030 and comprises of a 9.1m diameter circular concrete or possible sandbag construction, with an entrance to the west. To the north of this are a series of smaller circular, light anti-aircraft gun emplacements, ranging from 2.5-6.5m in diameter. The larger of the group, at TG 2550 4033, may be the predictor emplacement. The two smaller circular structures, in particular at example located at TG 2555 4030, may have been a spigot mortar emplacement. By August 1940 (S1) a rectangular building has been erected against the western field boundary, measuring 6m by 4m, possibly of concrete or brick construction. This may have housed the generator or possibly acted as accommodation. By September 1940 this structure has been removed (S2-3). Although in September (S1-2) a very clear and well-defined vehicle tracks leads to a large agricultural building to the immediate east of the site, located at TG 2562 4033. It is possible that this shed was now being used by the troops, either for accommodation or to house equipment. Although the removal of the hut from the site may indicate that the site was already going out of active use, as evidenced by its complete removal during the next year. In the September 1940 aerial photographs (S2-3), centred on TG 2555 4029, is an area of disturbance, which cannot clearly be distinguished due to the oblique angle of the photographs, but it is possible that it relates to removal and dismantling of structures.
S. Massey (NMP), 24 November 2004.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COAST ARTILLERY SEARCHLIGHT? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GENERATOR HOUSE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SPIGOT MORTAR EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2540/4 (MSO 31013 2A/BR14/3 3667) 16-AUG-1940.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2540/8 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4903) 19-SEP-1940.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2540/9 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4904) 19-SEP-1940.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2540/15 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 23) 07-AUG-1941.

Related records - none

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